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Causes of Nerve Damage in Car Accidents and How to Seek Compensation

WRITTEN BY:
Steven Matz
May 16, 2024 | Fractures, Sprains & Soft Tissue Injuries

Key Takeaways

  • The most common cause of nerve damage is motor vehicle accidents.
  • Nerve damage symptoms vary based on the location and severity of the sustained injury.
  • To prove nerve damage after a car accident, seek medical attention, communicate with your doctor, and keep a daily log of your injuries.
  • Hidden injuries like nerve damage can be difficult to prove when fighting for compensation. Seek help from an experienced Michigan personal injury attorney.

If you are involved in a car crash, you may be so overwhelmed with the fallout of the accident that you do not even realize you have nerve damage until it is too late to seek compensation. That leaves you to handle expenses like medical bills on your own.

The truth is, nobody expects to be involved in an accident or to sustain hidden injuries. When it does happen, however, you should be able to focus on your recovery rather than going back and forth with insurance companies.

Continue reading this article to see what you can do if a car accident leaves you with serious injuries. If you or a loved one sustained nerve damage in an auto accident in Michigan, the experienced attorneys at Matz Injury Law may be able to help with your case. Call us today to schedule a free consultation.

What is Nerve Damage?

Car accidents often affect the nerves located beyond the brain or spinal cord, known as peripheral neuropathy. This type of nerve damage can cause weakness, numbness, or pain in specific parts of the body. It can also impact certain bodily functions, such as digestion and urination.

As a result, some body parts may no longer function normally, impacting life in different ways. For example, you may have difficulty reaching over your head because the nerve damage is in your neck.

The Leading Cause of Nerve Damage

According to a national study, 46% of all nerve damage results from motor vehicle accidents.

Such nerve damage may usually result from one or any combination of the following:

  • A stretch-related injury where the nerve’s normal elasticity is exceeded
  • Deep lacerations sustained during the accident (such as from sharp objects)
  • A compression or trauma injury

The resulting peripheral nerve injury can range from mild to severe.

Types of Nerve Damage Caused by Car Accidents

The most common injuries that can result in nerve damage include:

  • Whiplash: Whiplash occurs as the head is suddenly and rapidly jolted forward and back, resulting in trauma to the muscles, tendons, nerves, and other soft tissues found in the neck.
  • Spinal injuries: Injuries resulting from an impact to the spine may compress or pinch the nerves, often causing sciatica.
  • Herniated discs: The rubbery disc between vertebrae can become damaged, resulting in a herniated disc that can impact that nerve of the spinal cord.

Nerve Damage Symptoms Following a Car Accident

woman holding her lower back after car accident

Symptoms of nerve damage following an auto accident will depend on particular factors, including the location and severity of the sustained injury. You might experience the following signs of nerve damage.

  • Tingling sensations
  • Numbness
  • Burning sensations
  • Chronic pain
  • Muscle spasms
  • Radiating pain
  • Inability to use certain muscles
  • Decreased or slower reflexes
  • Bladder control issues
  • Muscle weakness

Due to the potential for different symptoms, car accident victims should seek medical attention to obtain a diagnosis and establish a treatment plan.

Related Article: What Should I Do After a Car Accident if I Have Chest Pain?

Proving Your Nerve Damage Was Caused by a Michigan Car Accident

Proving nerve damage as a result of a car accident can be difficult if there is no visible damage. Seek medical attention soon after the accident, talk with your doctor immediately, and keep a daily log of your injuries and how they impact your life.

Seek Medical Attention

Seek medical care as soon as possible so that there is a higher likelihood of linking the nerve damage with the accident. Documentation of your doctor’s diagnosis and resulting treatment plan will be essential to your claim. Be sure to follow up on all appointments, including physical therapy.

Talk to Your Doctor

At each appointment, openly discuss your injury and resulting symptoms with your doctor. Talk about any pain you experience, as well as other issues that are occurring, such as urination problems. Their diagnosis and record of your injuries will help support your claim.

Keep a Daily Log

Early on, start keeping a daily log of your injuries and symptoms. Track your progress as you go through the medical treatment plan. Be consistent, honest, and accurate.

For example, you can record if you experienced stabbing pain in your arm and were unable to lift your child or even buckle your belt. Also, get in the habit of rating your pain each day from one to ten, and provide details of how your personal injury affects your everyday life.

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How Can Matz Injury Law Help?

Our attorneys here at Matz Injury Law can navigate nerve damage cases in a variety of ways. Hidden injuries require a different approach. While broken bones can be proven with X-rays, nerve damage is more difficult to show. As a result, we spend significant time compiling documentation, medical records, and testimony from doctors and other medical professionals.

We also listen to our clients about how their lives are affected by the injury and have them testify to that. For instance, a client may explain why the pain in his shoulder is making it so he cannot perform day-to-day activities.

In addition to actual injuries, you may be able to seek compensation specifically for pain and suffering. To prove pain and suffering, you need to prove three points:

  1. The at-fault driver was negligent.
  2. That negligence caused the accident.
  3. The accident caused your injuries.

Related Article: Can You Sue for Aggravated Injuries Due to an Accident?

Treatment Options for Nerve Damage From a Michigan Car Accident

Treatment options for nerve damage range from simple, inexpensive solutions to extensive surgeries. In some cases, physical therapy may also be a short- or long-term option.

While rest will be crucial to your recovery, you might need one or more of the following treatment options.

  • Medication: You may require over-the-counter or prescription medications to help manage the pain and aid recovery.
  • Injections: Your doctor may recommend injections like epidurals and peripheral nerve injections to ease symptoms.
  • Spinal cord stimulation: An implanted device sends electrical pulses along the spinal cord to mask pain.
  • Surgery: Different types of surgery may be recommended, including
    • Nerve decompression surgery, which includes either spinal decompression or peripheral decompression
    • Peripheral nerve surgery, which treats weaknesses and changes in sensations
    • Radiofrequency ablation, which involves burning the ends of the nerves off to prevent pain signals

Your doctor can help you determine the appropriate treatment plan based on your nerve damage.

How Long is the Recovery for Nerve Damage Sustained From an Accident?

The recovery process for nerve damage can vary depending on the severity of the injury. To help heal, you must rest the area and follow all your doctor’s recommendations.

In most cases, recovery from nerve damage is slow and can take several months or years. Full recovery heavily depends on the type of damage sustained. Mild nerve damage may resolve within a few days or up to two months. More significant injuries can take up to a year. However, severe nerve damage may never heal.

Since there is a statute of limitations on filing a personal injury claim, understanding your injury’s expected recovery process can help you estimate the full value of your claim.

Related Article: Negotiating Medical Bills After Settlement

Why Clients Choose Matz Injury Law

Matz Injury Law has been serving Michigan clients for decades, logging hundreds of miles to meet with clients face to face and working diligently to reach the right settlement for each one.

We have earned over $300 million for our clients, and we want our clients to keep as much of that money in their pockets as possible. While many law firms continue to charge the standard 33 1/3% contingency fee, we offer clients a different approach with only a 22% contingency fee. In other words, you get to keep more money with Matz.

Testimonials

“I reached out to Steve after my car accident, and even without paying him, he was there for me. Offered me advice and told me everything I needed to know about what my insurance company owed me. He cares about people, and it shows!” – Kyanna W.

“For anyone looking for an attorney, please look no further than Matz Injury Law!! Not only was Jared professional, he helped me beyond what I could have asked for. I’m so thankful for you all!!! To say I’m appreciative and grateful is an understatement. There’s no need to look for any other attorneys for your auto accidents!! They are so wonderful!!! Highly recommend 10/10!!!!! – Tessa C.

“Many thanks to Jared and the staff at Matz Injury Law! You definitely helped ease a very stressful situation. I really didn’t have to do anything, you folks did it all, which I appreciated very much. It’s never a pleasant experience when someone runs a red light and you wind up with life-long injuries… and I sure didn’t want to have to deal with the insurance company too. 2 thumbs up from me!” – Kim B.

Get Started on Your Nerve Damage Claim. Contact Us.

Suffering a hidden injury like nerve damage in a car accident can make your compensation claim even more complicated. A Michigan car accident lawyer knows how to help compile and present the evidence needed in such a personal injury case and will work diligently for a fair outcome.

To get started on your nerve damage claim, contact Matz Injury Law’s Southfield office at 1-866-22Not33 or our online contact form to schedule a free consultation today.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Much is a Nerve Injury Worth in Michigan?

Settlements usually range somewhere between $15,000 and up to $100,000.

If you can prove that your accident caused your nerve damage, you may be entitled to compensation to cover related medical expenses, income loss, and more. However, the amount will be limited to what is covered by the insurance policy.

You may be able to seek more in some instances, and the legal advice and help of a dedicated Michigan personal injury lawyer will be essential.

Why Work With a Personal Injury Attorney on a Nerve Damage Case?

A personal injury attorney can help with your case by knowing how to compile and present relevant evidence to obtain fair damages. Even if you suffer non-permanent nerve damage, it is important to understand that it could degrade at any time into something more serious and even permanent. A personal injury attorney will know about this and may be able to file an additional claim on your behalf.

What Does a Pinched Nerve Feel Like?

Pinched nerves may feel like a part of the human body has fallen asleep. You may also feel a tingling or burning sensation when moving the affected area. These symptoms may not show up right away and can vary in intensity.

steven matz headshot

Written By Steven Matz

Founding Shareholder

Steven J. Matz is a founding shareholder of Matz Injury Law. The firm’s concentration is on personal injury litigation, with an emphasis on traumatic brain injury.

The maximum contingency fee permitted by law is actually 331/3%. Michigan court rules require that the attorney fee be computed on the net sum recovered after deducting all disbursements properly chargeable to the enforcement of the claim.

What does 22not33 mean, exactly?

We can charge 22% while virtually all other injury attorneys charge 331/3% because we are very, very, good at obtaining results for our clients.

We do not spend millions of dollars on television ads; instead, we offer a lower fee to all our clients. We do not have dozens of lower paid associates handling our work. All our clients are represented by Steven and Jared Matz. Steven Matz started the firm in 1977 and since then has dedicated his life to representing injury victims. Jared joined the firm in 2016 but grew up listening to stories, discussing theories, and generally learning at the dinner table about how to effectively and compassionately represent injury victims. Jared Matz was literally born to represent individuals involved in motor vehicle crashes.

All of our cases are handled on a contingency fee and all our cases are handled at 22%. Whether the case settles or goes through trial, the fee does not change. While our competitors make excuses as to why they charge so much, we are obtaining results for our clients at a lower fee.

At a typical television advertising law firm, your first call will be handled by a receptionist, who may refer you to an intake person, who will discuss your claim with an intake manager, who then discusses your claim with an associate, who may then report to a partner. You may never speak with the person whose name is at the top of the letterhead. At Matz Injury Law you will always speak with either Steven Matz or Jared Matz.